Eco Comment – A New Environment

07 June 2024

This week I’m very fortunate to be away with family in a new environment to me. A holiday in Pembrokeshire has allowed me to experience a quiet coastal environment combining huge stretches of sand and sea with quiet secluded coves awash with rock pools perfect for the small bodies we have with us. This seaside idyll contrasts with the rural feel that is quickly found after a short walk or drive up onto the hills where wild ponies amble unconcerned round the many sheep grazing the rough ground covered with tough grass, gorse and heather. A view over Newport from a crop of huge boulders reminded me of the 1930 railway holiday posters. The varying shades of green plus fields of yellows and ochre hint of the different crops grown by the farms nearby. Turn around though and there’s a very different view, that of a port further up the coast which bustles into action before the ferry leaves for its short trip to Ireland. The people aboard see the hills and nearby cliffs teeming with nesting seabirds gradually disappear from view as the Irish Sea becomes their new environment. On this occasion there also a cruise ship docked in the deep channel having no doubt taken it’s passengers to land in small boats where they can have a walk on ‘terra firma’ and spend money in the few tourist type shops.

It therefore feels entirely appropriate that this week has seen two significant events in the world of Eco awareness.

The first being World Environment Day and the second being Volunteer Week 2024.

To a certain extent World Environment day speaks for itself. We all live and work in an environment and we should all do our best to look after it because, let’s face it, it is the only one we’ve got and if we can’t look after our own bit of environment how can we expect bigger institutions, conglomerates and governments to look after the different environments to be found in our world?

Initiated by the United Nations (UN) almost five decades ago, World Environment Day has been raising awareness, supporting action, and driving changes for the environment. This year’s World Environment Day was hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the campaign unsurprisingly focused on land restoration, desertification and drought resilience under the slogan “Our land. Our future. We are #GenerationRestoration.”

It’s to be hoped that this event will lead the way in finding solutions to the world’s environmental issues as so many parts of the globe are becoming uninhabitable by both human and animal species.

The second event being about volunteering is something that I think I have only really become fully aware of as I’ve got older. I never cease to be amazed by how many of the organisations and charitable institutions that we rely on to keep the country going are run by so called ‘volunteers’. Possibly it’s a good thing that the average age of the population is getting older as there are continual pleas for more people to give of their time, energies and expertise for the recompense of ‘grateful thanks and the satisfaction of a contribution to society well made’.

Volunteers Week is being celebrated between the 3rd and the 9th of June this year. It is a week in which the UK celebrates volunteers and says thank you to them for the contribution that they make. The week also raises awareness about the benefits of becoming a volunteer and the diverse volunteering roles that are available.

If anyone reading this has the time and energy the Eco Group are looking for volunteers to help do some gardening around the cathedral. Anyone interested should make themselves known either to the cathedral office or Margaret Townend. All offers gratefully received. If your skills are in other areas the cathedral too is asking for volunteers in a variety of roles.

Meanwhile back in Wales the environment has many opportunities for voluntary work ranging from keeping coastal paths clear to helping count the huge variety of birds and sea life that frequent the waters nearby. Closer to home Conservation Volunteers will always find a use for your labour if you can offer it. Whatever you choose to do your efforts will be well rewarded and received.

Susan Morgan
Eco Group

Want to know more about the Eco Group?

Wakefield Cathedral’s Eco Group brings together members of the congregation, volunteers and staff to work towards making the cathedral a greener place to work and worship.

The Eco Group achieves its goals through a variety of activities, including partnerships with local community groups.

We invite anyone and everyone to reach out if they are interested in joining the eco group, or simply finding out more about what we do.

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Wakefield Cathedral

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8-10 Westmorland St
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01924 373923